Letter to the Editor: Wind turbines have a place, but not necessarily here

There are days in our life that we will never forget. For many, our wedding day, the birth of our first child, and all those memories before, between, and after. There tend to be some unfortunate times in our lives as well. When I was small my Grandma Hughes spent hours reading me stories and tales of magic and mystery. My life in ways is a fairy tale for me. I married my forever best friend, I have the best family God could ever give me. I’m blessed. Truly blessed. I have also as most people at some point experienced some very terrible things in my life. I believe those times make me a better stronger person.

This brings me to a particular day in my life I will never forget. It started out like any other. We had gotten a postcard through the mail inviting us to a meeting at the Green Springs VFW. So Wednesday, Nov. 29,2017, we cleared the dishes from the dinner table and at 6 p.m. promptly pulled into the parking lot, not really knowing what to expect. It didn’t take long before I realized that the life that I love could be changed by people I don’t even know. There were posters and business clothed people going over charts and graphs. I really could not wrap my head around these tripod displays. There was one in particular that caught my attention. My breathing slowed and my eyes grew wide as I walked toward a poster that showed the road behind where I live. It couldn’t be though because my house wasn’t depicted, just the back of a neighbor, Tom and Lori Sheely’s recognizable barn with dozens of huge photo-shopped in turbines. What?

No…No. There was a woman standing there with a smiling face. She took a look at me and I’m not sure what she saw but, her demeanor changed and she nodded as a tear rolled down my cheek and she said it’s going to be okay. I asked her what happened to my home? I said when did this happen? Why didn’t I know? Forward 641 days and a few plus hours later, as I sit here writing this letter. Here I am fighting this along with others that want to save their dreams, their families, their lives, their homes they have worked for. I know what a farm is. I married a farm boy. I live on a few acres with a number of outbuildings that have housed 4-H animals and other livestock. We have room for animals, trees, and a small field which in days past was used for making of hay for the horses and growing a few prize-winning pumpkins. We are otherwise surrounded by farmland. And the farmer for generations has used that land for his corn, beans, wheat and perhaps a few turnips. When we bought our home over 30 years ago, we bought it with the intention of growing old in that turn of the century house that with time and care we turned into our home and raised our family.

Time changes, technology included but, once you change the land of the farms, it will never be the same and if it contains turbines it will never be an agricultural farm, it will be an industrial wind turbine location. Let’s not confuse the two. I am not against farmers, wind, technology, and the list goes on. What I am against is building 47 wind turbines at over 600 feet in height just over 1200 feet from residential. It would be as acceptable as if I purchased a residential lot in a populated residential street in Tiffin and raised a large number of farm animals in an outbuilding. I could say I’m raising animals to feed your family or on the opposition, I’m building turbines to heat your home. You don’t need farm animals raised in town to feed your family, nor do you need wind turbines sited in populated agricultural areas in order for you to have electricity. Town is not zoned for a building of year-round farm animals. Farmers would not do that. They raise their animals and crops in an agricultural area. Back to zoning. If zoning for townships was followed by the companies of turbines, there would not be turbines in my township as there should not be a farm amongst a cul-de-sac of homes in a city.

Everything has a place animals, farms, crops, and even wind turbines. But, I am sure of this, life would no longer be the beautiful farmland countrysides we have now if that were to include 47 600+ foot turbines. Please take the time to get informed. It’s not as simple as wind is free and should be harnessed. Just like many things, there’s more to the story. In closing, I would like to thank Mike Kerschner, Tony Paradisio and my friend Bill Reineke for taking the time to really look at the facts and continue to work hard toward keeping industrial-size wind turbines out of the highly populated residential countryside.

Dawn Hoepf